Thursday, November 06, 2008

Government R&D Spending

The graph above, generated a couple of years ago by Kei Koizumi at the American Association for the Advancement of Science, provides a hint. The yellow band in the graph is, in essence, a portrait of the space race as reflected in federal money for basic R&D related to going into orbit and to the Moon. (The purple band is essentially the war on cancer and similar health research. Military research, at $75 billion a year, doesn’t fit in this graph.)

The green band is a half-century of federal investment in energy research. And that’s not just renewable energy like solar power, but research in all energy sectors. To me, the energy graph resembles an emaciated python that had one decent meal.
Interesting look at where government R&D spending is going. Also amazing that the military research budget is 50% higher than everything in the graph above. Instead of trying to increase the energy R&D budget, I would try and redirect military R&D to energy projects. This makes sense for military reasons and would also be easier politically as conservatives give a free ride to anything in the federal budget labeled "military spending".

via Dot Earth


Audacious Epigone said...

conservatives give a free ride to anything in the federal budget labeled "military spending".

Neocons, anyway.

Fat Knowledge said...

Is it really just neocons? Can you point me to a single instance of a self described conservative who has argued that the military budget needs to be cut? I am not aware of any, but if you do know of one I will amend the post.

When I talk to people that call themselves conservatives, they always say that we need to keep the military strong, and like to point out how Clinton "gutted" the military when he reduced spending (although we were not at war with anyone and we still spent more than all of our enemies combined). They are against government spending in general but never against military spending in specific.

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